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The Mount of Refuge.

The Mount of Refuge.

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BY Samuel Porter Williams

Genesis, xix. 17

Escape, for thy life — look not behind thee — neither tarry thou in
all the plain. Escape to the mount ain, lest thou he consumed.
BY Samuel Porter Williams

Genesis, xix. 17

Escape, for thy life — look not behind thee — neither tarry thou in
all the plain. Escape to the mount ain, lest thou he consumed.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 THE MOUT OF REFUGE. BY Samuel Porter WilliamsGenesis, xix. 17 Escape, for thy life — look not behind thee — neither tarry thou in all the plain. Escape to the mount ain, lest thou he consumed. JL HE history of Lot, and especially that part of it to which this passage refers, exemplifies the apostolic intimation, that the righteous being scarcely saved, there is no hope for the ungodly and the sinner. His wife, his children, his proper- ty, were all destroyed, with every thing pertaining to that wicked city which he had chosen for the place of his resi- dence, and he himself did but escape. He should not have chosen such a city for his residence. The prospect of gain, was but a wretched prospect ; and its fullest acquisition, a miserable compensation for the evils to which he subjected himself, by removing to a place where the ordinances of re- ligion were unknown, and dissipation and iniquity were uni- versal. But besides the certain vexation to which he ex- posed himself daily, by taking up his abode in such a place, 196 SERMO XIV. and indulging in intercourse with such a people ; he put the welfare of his family in jeopardy, and though he himself was saved, they became a prey to the contagion of bad ex- ample, and perished with the wicked citizens of Sodom. But righteous men are not always wise, and but for divine grace, their own indiscretions would ruin them. God having commissioned his angels to destroy the city, (none righteous being found there, save this one man) they entered Lot's house, warned him of his danger, and informed him of the possibility of his seasonable retreat. Believing
unhesitatingly the word of the Lord, he went out to commu- cate the intelligence to his family friends, his children es- pecially, who were settled around him, and urge them to partake, with him, in the benefit of the kind admonition. But being unsuccessful in persuading them of their danger, he lingered to expostulate with them. Perceiving this, the angels laid hold upon him, his wife, and daughters, and urged them violently out of the city ; and having thus far secured them from immediate ruin, thus addressed him — *' Escape for thy life — look not behind thee — neither tarry thou in all the plain. Escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." The obvious analogy between the case just described, and impenitent sinners, will lead us from the history to the doc- trine. Was the city in which Lot dwelt, devoted to destruc- tion ? — So are all men under the Law's condemnation. Were Lot and his family, kindly provided a refuge from the im- pending ruin ? — So are the impenitent under the Gospel. Were the one shown the mount of safety, and urgently en- treated to make good their escape to it ? — So are the other. Did the salvation of Lot and his family, depend on their sea- sonable flight from the city, and the plains, of Sodom ? — So does that of the sinner, on his seasonable flight to Christ, the only refuge from death. The admonition of the text, SERMO XIV. 197 then, addressed to Lot, by the angels of God's mercy, may be considered as the voice of God's embassadors to men, condemned and ready to perish. 1. In the first place, was the city of Sodom, in which Lot dwelt, devoted to destruction ? — So are all the trans- gressors of God's law, while they remain under its condem- nation. The whole history of the plan and execution of the work of redemption, presupposes, and is built upon, the fact, that the soul that sins must die. The great end of the gift of
Christ to the world, was to magnify the law, and redeem them who were under its curse. Why else, if we make our reason the umpire, should such a plan have been originated ^ Why should the Son of God be manifested — why be holden to perfect obedience to the law — and why suffer its curse ^ Why should his mediation become necessary to human safety and happiness, on any other supposition, than that our title to life was lost, and our subjection to the law's penalty un- questionable ^ And if our own reason establishes the con- clusion, that by law no man is justified, but all devoted to destruction, much more do the explicit declarations of Christ, and his witnesses, render clear and certain this doctrinal verity. "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, written in the book of the law, to do them" — is the unchangeable, and uniform tenor, of the revelations both of Moses and of Christ. That wickedness, which is explicitly declared by an Apostle, to consist only in the violation of the law, is, with equal explicitness, declared, by Apostles, and Christ himself, to have incurred "the damnation of hell." Resting in these assurances, Christ appealed to the Phari- sees themselves, whether there existed a possibility of es- cape, since both Jews and Gentiles are confessedly under the law, alike transgressors of it, and therefore, all concluded under sin : so that on this charge, every mouth is stopped, and the whole world is become guilty before God. It has J 98 SERMO XIV. indeed been said, 'the law was ^peculiar to the Jews as a rule of life.' But the Apostle denies it; and alleges, that every moral agent is alike condemned by it, though to all it has not come in the same form of exhibition. Even the heathen have the substance of it written on their consciences, and so are a law unto themselves : j^et neither they, nor the Jews, nor sinners under the gospel, have fulfilled it. They are, of consequence, condemned by it, and devoted to destruc- tion.

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